Saturday, June 24, 2017

Adult Sunday School - The Blended Family

Golden Triangle Church on the Rock
Adult Sunday School

Date: June 25
Monthly Theme:      Family     
Monthly Theme Scripture: Genesis 18:19 I have singled him out so that he will direct his sons and their families to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. Then I will do for Abraham all that I have promised.

Weekly Topic: The Blended Family
Scripture Reference: Psalms 68:6 God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; But the rebellious dwell in a dry land.

The traditional family model, as seen in the Bible is original to God’s plan for family. This model is built around a husband and wife, who become father and mother to their children. God’s best for every adult is that they were raised in a traditional family according to His design and therein equipped to raise the next generation in accordance with the same standards, benefits, and blessings. Unfortunately, God’s intended original family model has not been every family’s experience. The 21st Century family experience is often anything but traditional.
The documented rise in the rate of latch key children, two parent income households, divorce, pregnancies outside of traditional marriage, and same sex marriage union laws in America has left many children without the benefits that the traditional family model is intended to afford. As well, the ever increasing demands on time, along with the attractions that cell phones and the internet offer, create extra hurdles for families and rob the family of opportunities to get to know and grow with each other.
Interaction between siblings and shared experiences are no longer a given within a family. These things are added to the fact that most children in America under the age of 18 do not live in a home with both of their biological parents.
Just because a family does not follow the traditional model does not in and of itself make the family dysfunctional. However, it can serve to add complexities not normally encountered by the traditional family setting. Step parents, foster parents, adoptive parents, single parents, and children in categories of his kids, her kids, our kids, and their kids all weigh in on the issues many 21st Century families experience.
Christian families and the Church as a whole desperately need to get back the reins on the family and provide some basis for growing the family God’s way, without respect to the type of family they have. The complexities blended families encounter are a fact in America and the church and this is not going to change. One of the biggest contributors to dysfunctional families is the fact that many parents today, without respect to what category of parent they are, weren’t parented themselves. Our hope is to recognize the value of every family and give them tools to grow in the grace of God to best benefit their future.

Growing families will benefit from:

1. Attending Church and worshipping together as a family.
        a. Children need to see Church as a family activity
b. Children will find it difficult to keep from imitating their parents.
c. There is a need to know what your child is learning about God.

2. Family time around the dinner table eating together.
a. One of the four pillars of Church growth and continued Church health is the act of breaking bread together. (Acts 2:42)
b. There is something special that happens to a group of people when they eat a blessed meal together that cannot be duplicated anywhere else.
c. The Israelites were commanded to observe the Sabbath each week as a time to be spent with the family. Among the Jewish culture today the Sabbath still begins with the whole family sitting down to eat together at Sundown on Friday evenings.
d. God is even now preparing a feast in heaven for us to all sit down and eat together as a family. This will be the marriage supper of the Lamb.

3. Building memories during planned family vacations together.
a. Vacations force the family to spend time together in an inescapable and unavoidable controlled environment rather than separating themselves in their rooms or otherwise away from the family.
b. Vacations allow families to build memories that add strength and health to the family experience. One day every person is left with only the memories they have made.
c. Travel together forces some family dynamics that help to hone and sharpen life and give parents opportunity to solidify relationships within the family.

4. Family recreation and spontaneous fun together.
a. God designed group recreation to help develop social structure. Whether in the animal kingdom or with mankind, from goats butting heads to dogs playing chase, kids wrestling to friendly group competitions, learning both how to win and how to lose in a safe setting is important to personal skill development and mental health.
b. When a family takes time to play games and enjoy outdoor recreation together children get an opportunity to see their parents on a new level which will one day become valuable as the child develops into an adult. Children need to realize that adults don’t always win and kids don’t always lose.
c. Recreation allows the parent to assess each child’s strength and offer opportunities for each child and parent to show and sharpen their personal skills and demonstrate their individual knowledge so that every person is given a realistic chance to be a winner.

Points to Ponder:

·        The Bible is filled with blended family accounts.
·        The family of God is a blended family … we are all His adopted children.
·        Family is the will of God.
·        God ordained the family before He ordained the Church.
·        Nothing else is designed to nor can anything else take the place of family.
·        Family is a biological, spiritual, or covenant bond between people.
·        Family is the pattern of God’s will for mankind … in heaven and on earth.
·        The only thing God is working for is family.
·        Society has adopted a politically correct approach instead of a biblically correct approach to define what constitutes a family.
·         A family is not determined by legal statutes but rather by God’s design.